Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 27–43 | Cite as

The Origin of Technical Drawing in the Narmer Palette



Over 5000 years ago, together with the proto-hieroglyphics that helped to understand the events recorded in bas-relief, there also appeared, as we will demonstrate, a technical “description” of the plan for a fortified city wall that, though schematic, provided sufficient elements to perform a mathematical calculation of form and structure. Properly illuminated and enlarged, the image, according to the manner and technology used, allows for measurement, justifying the representative and configurative choices of the methodologically deduced three-dimensional model. Comparison with the remnants of structures of the same age and the geographic location of the relic supports and confirms such decisions.


Origin of the plan Initial forms of technical drawings Calculation of crenellated walls Drawing of fortified citadels Elements of obsidian defense 


  1. Achenza, Maddalena and Ulrico Sanna. 2009. Caratteristiche tecniche di riferimento degli elementi da costruzione. Pp. 120–123 in: Il manuale tematico della terra cruda, Cagliari: Centro Stampa dell’Università.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, William Y. 1977. Nubia: Corridor to Africa. London: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alberti, Leon Battista. 1988. On the Art of Building. Joseph Rkywert, Robert Tavernor and Neil Leach, trans. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Breasted, James Henry. 1906. Historical Documents from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest, 5 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cassi Ramelli, Antonio. 1964. La fortificazione primitiva e dell’antichità. In: Dalle caverne ai rifugi blindati: trenta secoli di architettura militare. Milano: Nova Accademia Editrice (2nd ed., Bari: Mario Adda Editore,1996).Google Scholar
  6. Cervelló-Autuori, Josep. 2005. Was King Narmer Menes? Archéo-Nil 15: 31–46.Google Scholar
  7. Cervelló-Autuori, Josep. 2003. Narmer, Menes and the seals from Abydos. In: Zahi A. Hawass, ed., Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century: Archaeology. Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists, vol. II, pp. 168–175. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.Google Scholar
  8. Docci, Mario and Riccardo Migliari. 1992. Scienza della rappresentazione. Roma: Nuova Italia scientifica.Google Scholar
  9. Emery, Walter B., Henry S. Smith, Alan R. Millard. 1976. Excavations at Buhen, vol. I. London: Egypt Exploration Society.Google Scholar
  10. Germanà, Maria Luisa and Rosalba Panvini, eds. 2008. La Terra Cruda nelle Costruzioni. Dalle testimonianze archeologiche all’architettura sostenibile (Atti della Giornata di Studi Caltanisetta, Museo Archeologico Santo Spirito, 29 giugno 2007). Palermo: Nuova Ipsa Editore.Google Scholar
  11. Gladkih, Mikhail I., Ninelj L. Kornietz, Olga Soffer. 1984. Mammoth-Bone Dwellings on the Russian Plain. Scientific American 251(5) (Nov. 1, 1984):164–175.Google Scholar
  12. Grimal, Nicolas. 1988. Histoire de l’Egypte ancienne. Paris: Editeur Fayard.Google Scholar
  13. Guy, Rachet. 1992. Dictionnaire de la civilisation ègiptienne. Paris: Larousse librairie.Google Scholar
  14. Hogg, Ian Vernon. 1981. The History of Fortification. London: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  15. Huerta, Santiago. 2007. Oval Domes: History, Geometry and Mechanics. Nexus Network Journal 9(2): 211–248.MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. Janson, Horst Woldemar and Anthony F. Janson. 1986. History of Art: A Survey of the Major Visual Arts from the Dawn of History to the Present Day, 3rd ed. New York: Abrams.Google Scholar
  17. Neve, Peter (1992). Hattuša – Stadt der Götter und Tempel: neue Ausgrabungen in der Hauptstadt der Hethiter (2nd ed.). Mainz: P. von Zabern.Google Scholar
  18. O’Connor, David (2011). «The Narmer Palette: A New Interpretation» i: Teeter, E.: Before the Pyramids, Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, pp.145–152. ISBN 13: 978-1-885923-82-0.Google Scholar
  19. Quibell, James Edward. 1898. Slate Palette from Hierakonpolis. Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde (Z.A.S.) 36: 81–84.Google Scholar
  20. Rondelet, Jean-Baptiste. 1812–1817. Traité théorique et pratique de l’art de bâtir. 7 vols. Paris: Hachette Livre.Google Scholar
  21. Rondelet, Jean-Baptiste. 1839. Trattato teorico e pratico dell’arte di edificare. It. trans. with notes by Basilio Soresina. Naples: Tipografia del Gallo.Google Scholar
  22. Sauvage, Martin. 1998. La brique et sa mise en oeuvre en Mésopotamie: des origines à l’époque Achéménide. Paris: Centre de Recherche d’Archéologie Orientale.Google Scholar
  23. Schulman, Alan R. 1991. Narmer and the Unification: A Revisionist View. Buletin of the Egyptological Seminar 11: 79–105.Google Scholar
  24. Shaw, Ian. 1991. Fortresses and frontiers. Pp. 15–24 in: Egyptian Warfare and Weapons. Buckinghamshire: Shire Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Design Edilizia e Ambiente (DIcDEA)Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli (SUN)AversaItaly

Personalised recommendations